We were able to get our hands on the game, as well, and were pretty surprised at what we found. If you are familiar with many browser games, you will not be shocked at how the game is delivered to you. What will catch you off guard is how the game plays and feels, as it combines a lot of different elements from some very popular genres and game styles.
Click past the cut to check out some of the details from our interview! Empire and State, one of the first thoughts that will come to your head when doing a quest will be "Mafia Wars." Now, don't you worry, Massively readers; we brought up the distaste that a lot of you have for the infamous Facebook game. According to Toby and Mike, the Mafia Wars-style of quest completion is only one part of the game -- a means to an end, but a small means.
"Also, there will be no pop-ups that ask you to 'Invite your friends' or 'Share some XP!' every five minutes. While there will be some basic Facebook connectivity initially, it will not go further."
Also, there will be no pop-ups that ask you to "Invite your friends" or "Share some XP!" every five minutes. While there will be some basic Facebook connectivity, it will not go further. Empire and State is a browser game, and there is no farming for cows. The developers want to allow users "to create and literally carve out their own world, and fight for it." As a new player you can expect political and economic strategy. Players can jump right into the political bits at level one and can start to participate in the strategy soon after. You start off on a tutorial island but quickly pick out a nation to join. Once joined with a player nation, you'll find the good stuff begins. You can build factories, take over tiles, join in battles and otherwise participate in the business of dominating the world. You know, the good stuff.
Player vs. player is the name of the game, but it's not the gank-and-wait kind. Nations will battle over the control of tiles, and although you might contribute to the battles, no one player will target another in a one-on-one fight.
"So how would we sum up Empire and State? From our limited time with the game, we can best describe it as a persistent strategy game with a lot of players."
So how would we sum up Empire and State? From our limited time with the game, we can best describe it as a persistent strategy game with a lot of players. It runs in Java, so it will run on a variety of devices (iOS/Android compatibility hasn't been announced yet, but it hasn't been ruled out, either) and the lack of 3-D animations and environments means that it will be easy to run as well. Perhaps calling it a "cafe-strategy-game" or a "laptop-nation-conquerer" would be better?
In fact, the best way to describe it, according to Mike Marr, would be "An MMO meets Civilization, a complex game built off of the premise of Risk." If you are familiar with those games, then you might be smiling right about now.
Feel free to join the open beta now -- just go to the official site to sign up. Have a good time conquering the world!